Traction Energy Asia (Traction) has been providing assistance to regional governments to incorporate low carbon growth and climate and natural disaster mitigation into their Regional Medium-Term Development Plans (RPJMD). Traction collaborated with the Directorate of Planning, Evaluation and Information on Regional Development, Directorate General of Regional Development (Bina Bangda), Ministry of Home Affairs, to deliver a capacity building program for local leaders and officials including focus group discussions on the four target areas, a national seminar, technical guidance, coaching clinics, and the provision of an e-learning platform. in implementing it.
Fourteen districts and cities across 4 provinces participated in the coaching clinic, an intensive mentoring program to build the capacity of regional governments to prepare the RPJMD from September 2020 to June 2021. Twelve out of 14 of the participating districts and cities have large forest areas, including sensitive areas that are vulnerable to oil palm production activities and other monoculture plantations. Moreover, the provinces of Riau, South Sumatra, and West Kalimantan are among the “big five” producers of crude palm oil in Indonesia (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2019).
The regional medium-term development plans (RPJMD) incorporate the vision, mission, and programs of the regional head and government, so it is crucial that low carbon growth and climate and natural disaster mitigation are embedded in the 5-year plans from the start.. The RPJMDs are guided by the 20-year Regional Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPD) and the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN). Regional governments begin working on the RPJMNDs shortly after the local elections (Pilkada), which take place every 5 years. After being postponed due to Covid19, the last Pilkada took place in December 2020, so Traction’s support was very timely, and effective in encouraging the inclusion of low-carbon growth, and climate and natural disaster mitigation for the implementation of strategic programs and activities that will affect the success of regional development over the next five years.
“Increasing the capacity of regional government officials to understand and incorporate sustainable development goals, emissions reduction and climate mitigation into regional development planning is the first concrete step to improving the management of natural resources and preparing Indonesia’s regions to contribute to the national emissions reduction commitments for the next 5 years,” said Fariz Panghegar, Research Manager at Traction Energy Asia, and Coordinator of the regional coaching clinic project. “Especially now that regions have more autonomy over their economic development since decentralization. So, regional leaders need to be prepared to take on more responsibility to protect their natural resources,” he continued.
Low-carbon development oriented towards environmental resilience and climate and natural disaster mitigation is a conscious and planned effort that integrates environmental, social, and economic aspects into development strategies to ensure the integrity of the environment as well as the safety, capability, welfare, and quality of life of present and future generations.
Rafiq Rahman, S.Stp, M.Si, Head of Development Planning and Evaluation, Bappeda Litbang, Bone Bolango Regency, expressed his appreciation for Traction’s assistance in the coaching clinic. “The materials provided were very helpful to prepare the initial draft of our RPJMD”. Rafiq added that he hoped that this mentoring activity would continue for preparation of the final RPJMD, strategic plan, as well as other related documents.
Traction’s capacity building program will be brought to a close on July 28, 2021, with the Innovative Strategy for Development Planning (SIPP) Award in collaboration with Tempo Impresario. The RPJMD documents submitted by participating officials in the coaching clinic will be assessed by a jury from the Directorate General of Regional Development, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Fiscal Policy Agency of the Ministry of Finance, the Monitoring Committee for the Implementation of Regional Autonomy (KPPOD), academics from the Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, and Traction Energy Asia as the organizing committee. The jury will select winners in four categories; ‘Comprehensive’, ‘Innovative’, ‘Commitment’, and ‘Initiative’. In addition, Traction will choose the winner in the ‘Persona’’ category, awarded to the participant who was the most active during the coaching clinics.
Although the mentoring will end soon, Traction hopes that support will continue to be provided for regional leaders so that they can continue to oversee the preparation of RPJMD documents in their respective regions. This is supported by a request from the Agency for Regional Development (Bappeda) for coaching clinic participants to be able to continue their capacity building activities to provide them with the support they need to prepare the Annual Regional Government Work Plans (RKPD), based on the RPJMD.